Review: Black Test Car + The Black Report
Blu-ray: Black Test Car + The Black Report (1962 + 1963)
Black Test Car is an espionage thriller and tells the story of a corporate war between the Tiger Motorcar Company and their competitors, the Yamato Company.
“So far, so what” you may well be thinking, and so was I when I read the films synopsis before viewing.
However, director Yasuzo Masumura reeled me in like a fish on a hook, and before too long I was thoroughly engaged in the thrilling narrative as each car company sends in undercover spies and uses every trick available to unearth the others secrets.
Tiger prepares to launch its newest “Pioneer” car and a prototype bursts into flames under mysterious circumstances. Toru (Hideo Takamatsu) heads a secretive task force to root out Yamato’s spy and find out what they can about the competitor’s familiar-looking new model. Have they copied the design of the Pioneer? And if so, how!?
You don’t need to be a “petrol head’ to enjoy Black Test Car as the tension is raised through the empathy felt for all of the characters as they are each used (and abused) by their specific company bosses and at the mercy of every decision made to outdo their rivals.
Companies putting money before their employees wellbeing is a theme that never ages, and the ways that some of the characters lives are devastated all in the name of profit hits home just as hard as it did on the films release in 1962.
Paired with its follow-up The Black Report (which I didn’t enjoy as much and plays out essentially as a courtroom drama), this is a fantastic Blu-ray to pick up if you’re in the mood for some underhand backstabbing shenanigans.
SPECIAL EDITION CONTENTS:
- High Definition Blu-ray™ (1080p) presentation of Black Test Car and The Black Report
- Original uncompressed Japanese mono audio on both films
- Optional newly translated English subtitles on both films
- Newly recorded critical appreciation by Jonathan Rosenbaum
- Theatrical trailers for both films
- Image galleries for both films
- Reversible sleeve featuring newly commissioned artwork by Tony Stella
FIRST PRESSING ONLY: Illustrated collector’s booklet with new writing on the films by Mark Downing Roberts.
Review by Dave from discs kindly supplied by Arrow Films via Fetch Publicity.